discarded lies: thursday, november 27, 2014 1:20 am zst
We can always panic tomorrow.
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zorkmidden
Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have a President!
evariste is at an Obama victory party with his fellow pollworkers, and I'm excited and proud tonight. I am proud that no one can accuse America of racism; Americans had to defend themselves for a long time against accusations of racism from people in other countries who have no idea how Americans think or feel. Did race play a role in the results of this election? For me it did. I voted for Obama because I did want to see a black person in the White House. My thinking was, "so give him a chance". What can he screw up? The economy? The war in Iraq? Health care? So congratulations to our new president, and while none of us will stop scrutinizing his decisions and his progress, I do wish him luck and strength.
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zorkmidden
Today is the end of the world! (No, not really)
Here's today's official election thread which will be staying on the front page top all day. All election-related discussions, cheese-related discussions, and rock-and-roll-related discussions should be posted here. As you probably know, evariste is being a pollworker today and that means that Bloggie is on its own. Allah willing, our server will not notice ev's absence and we'll be fine. Otherwise, meet you at Things in My Garage.
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guest author: levi from queens
How should we elect a president?
Two years is a ridiculously long period of campaigning to elect a man for a four year period in office. Senator Obama’s reply when asked why he had not held a single committee hearing to oversee our efforts in Afghanistan was that he needed to be running for President.

The Brits, the mother country, accomplish this same electoral magic in six weeks.

We need, therefore to shorten the process. America is vaster than the UK – six weeks is not the goal. Beyond that, President of the United States is more important to us than PM to them – they still have the Queen.

In America, we have a mixed primary/caucus system. At one time, it was a mixed primary/caucus/convention system. Primaries bring out committed voters. Caucuses bring out really committed voters. Conventions bring out persons with a high tolerance for boredom and deep commitment to winning the following election. Convention attendees will include all of the mayors and state senators of the convening state. There is value to each of these.

Iowa and New Hampshire are enormously fond of their historic early spot in the process. Both states have passed legislation to move dates forwards to maintain their first-in-the-nation position. This position cannot be sustained.

Here is how I would square the various circles and epicycles:

Run a lottery jointly betwixt the Republican and Democratic parties– like the NBA or NFL drafts. This lottery will drip out of a hat the primary/caucus/convention dates from March to July for the states -- each state would get a Tuesday. For the first caucus and primary, I would restrict the hat-list to our 30 smallest states and I would limit the caucus and primary to one state each. I would even say that no state with a greater number of persons than the Boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn combined should be in the lottery for the first two spots. There is value in retail politics.

I am not yet clear if I would allow large states to enter a district of that state in the lottery for the first two spots. e.g. Queens has about as many people as New Hampshire or Iowa. I also would limit the entrants to states/districts where the prior presidential election was decided by 5% or less. We need first to hear from swing-states.

The date of the lottery should be Shopping Friday after Thanksgiving in the previous year. This will put an effective start-date to active campaigning.

The first state should have to run a caucus like Iowa, the second a primary like NH. The first would be held on the next to last Tuesday in March, the second on the last Tuesday. The 3 ¾ months lead time should allow any state to prepare for the media onslaught.

One question is winner-take-all versus proportional take. My gut is that winner-take-all will over time be the favored manner. I would leave that to the states.

What to do with Iowa and NH? I would weight the hat. They would have treble the chance for the first two spots by increasing the number of Iowa and NH papers in the hat. If they ignored the hat and went ahead and maintained their position as first in the nation, I would delete their superior hat-weighting for all further years.

I would provide zero penalty for ignoring the hat results. I would instead provide a bonus of treble-convention-delegates to states which complied with the hat.

After the first two spots, all states are in for the next hat-drawings. If a state finds itself in a place one election where it only votes after the nominees are obvious, I would double its hat-chance in the early months of the following election. About three states per Tuesday would vote over the seventeen weeks from April Fools Day to the end of July.

One point which has been raised – is why not have a one day national primary? Becoming president is profound. Our drawn-out process reveals strengths and weaknesses. A one day primary would show simply who had the most national reach upon that date. If we had done so this year, Mayor Giuliani would surely have been the Republican candidate. While this result would have pleased both Bigel and me, Rudy did not have the necessary fire in his belly to become President. I see great value in a drawn-out process which exposes over time and stress the strengths and weaknesses in each candidate. FWIW, my wise baby-son disagrees with me on this last point.

I remain unclear as to why three persons actually wished to read such wonkery. I suspect the result would be beneath three in a current poll.
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zorkmidden
Does he stand a chance?
Sen. Obama launches White House bid. I don't think he'll win the nomination, he should have waited until the next round. He's so inexperienced, he comes across as stupid for entering the race at this point.
Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record) announced his bid for president Saturday, a black man evoking Abraham Lincoln's ability to unite a nation and a Democrat portraying himself as a fresh face capable of leading a new generation.

"Let us transform this nation," he told thousands shivering in the cold at the campaign's kickoff.

Obama, 45, is the youngest candidate in the Democrats' 2008 primary field dominated by front-runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and filled with more experienced lawmakers. In an address from the state capital where he began his elective career 10 years ago, the first-term U.S. senator sought to distinguish himself as a staunch opponent of the Iraq war and a White House hopeful whose lack of political experience is an asset.

"I know I haven't spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I've been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change," Obama said to some of the loudest applause of his 20-minute speech.
Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah.
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evariste
Duncan Hunter is my President
The rest of you just haven't elected him yet

This guy is the real deal. Reagan's true heir, not a pretender. DJ McGuire's endorsement already had me strongly leaning toward him, but this interview with John Hawkins at Right Wing News has sealed the deal (with cognac to Moxie for pointing it out; she's swooning, too). He knows his stuff, he knows where he stands, and I like where he stands and what he's saying. His record in the House, too, is second-to-none. Read the interview and see if you don't love this guy.
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evariste
Humble Pie
Have a slice, Republicans
Now that the shock has worn off a bit: what the hell happened this election?

Unemployment was very low. Stock-market indexes, whether broad-based or narrow-based, whether composed of big companies or small companies, whether representing the new economy or the old economy: they were all continuously hitting all-time highs, finally marking a decisive break with the bubble bust-9/11 hangover. Americans are collectively richer than ever before.

Gas prices were declining fast. Remember how many unfounded insinuations you read in the media that Rove was somehow engineering the gas price declines?

Saddam Hussein was sentenced by an Iraqi court to hang from the gallows for some of his crimes. Remember the insinuations? They might even have been well-founded, in this instance.

Economic success at home, and the appearance of military success abroad with Saddam's trophy scalp: if you listened to the sort of people who have a palpable contempt for the American voter, this was a recipe for the incumbent party's reelection. And yet, we threw the bums out.

Apparently, the quality of Diebold's election-stealing code was as low as the quality of all their other code. There was a lot of noise about the flaws of Diebold's touch-screen voting machines, and the possible malicious intent lurking therein, but in the end, it didn't do the Republicans any good. Electronic voting is still a profoundly flawed idea, but at least now we know that it's not a deliberate conspiracy of fraud perpetrated upon our democracy. It's just rank incompetence.

The American electorate confounded all of the conventional wisdom expectations of its collective cravenness and stupidity in this election. Incidentally revealing the bankruptcy of a lot of the kind of pundits who pronounce that Americans vote only with their wallets and think only in the extremely short term.

I, for one, am delighted in our loss of power. When I expressed this sentiment, it caused reader Trillian to ask me if I was serious. She clearly thought I was joking. I assured her I was serious, without elaborating. This is the elaboration. And while I'm delighted in our (well-deserved) loss of power, I'm cautiously pessimistic about the chances for immediate (2008) recovery. It looks like we haven't learned our lesson well-enough yet. I'm gonna come back to this in a couple of paragraphs.

You guys never believe me when I say I'd vote for Hillary Clinton, either. Well, watch me. If we don't clean up our shitty fucking act, Hillary doesn't look so bad.

For the past several elections, a meme has been going around about the media. The meme is that the liberal media's reporting constitutes an echo-chamber. One that inadvertently suckers Democrats into believing their chances are much better than they really are. For a time, this was correct: the media predicted Democratic victories which did not materialize. And yet, this time, the media was-if anything-circumspect. They dared to suggest that the Democrats might nearly control the Senate. Even the Democratic so-called "echo chamber" didn't predict that a clean sweep of both houses of Congress was in the cards. They didn't dream of it!

It turns out the American voter still has a few surprises left for all of us. I regret my pre-election prediction of Republican victory in the comments here, for this reason: I said "the American people are not morons" in justifying my view of the Republicans' excellent chances for retaining control. They're not morons regardless, and it would serve me well to keep that in mind.


"Better us than them" ain't gonna cut it any more. Perform or get out.

Did you know that Dennis Hastert's son, Joshua, is a high-powered Washington lobbyist? For Google, among others? This is how bad our side has become. The nepotistic corruption is sickening. We're not any holier than the Democrats. We ARE the moneychangers in the temple. Proof: the GOP voted overwhelmingly to elect the same kind of corrupt leaders that lost us this election, instead of Young Turk reformers with real conservative credentials, guys like Roy Blunt and Mike Pence.

Fuck us, okay? I'm glad we lost. We lost on the merits. We had every last reason to win, and we still blew it. We have no right to complain. We just have to do better. Much, much better. We've lost our way. The Republican party is no longer led by principled conservatives. Either we fix it, replace it, or resign ourselves to a generation of Democratic control.

Notice how many victorious Democrat candidates were conservative Democrats. Conservatism didn't lose here, folks. Republicans lost. For instance, the Democrats went with Steny Hoyer for House majority leader over John Murtha, swimming against commissar Nancy Pelosi's diktat. They're eager to seize their chance. And although they don't know what to do with it yet, they sure as hell don't want to be cast out into the wilderness again. The new conservative Democrats want to differentiate themselves from the hardcore liberal losers who've been getting them killed in every election since 1994. I'm cheering them on.

As a habitually Republican voter, I'm disappointed in the outcome of this election. As a conservative, I'm delighted. And I'm far more of a conservative than I am a Republican.
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zorkmidden
Election talk
Your complaints, predictions and comments here: Democrats draw first blood in congressional polls
Early projected results suggested Democrats positioned for major gains against Republicans in congressional elections marked by anger with President George W. Bush, Iraq and corruption.

Hoping to curtail Bush's power in his last two years in office, Democrats drew first blood, ousting incumbents in the Republican stronghold state of Indiana, and in Pennsylvania and Ohio, according to television network projections.

Democrats' Senate campaign manager Chuck Schumer predicted a good night for his party in the battle for control of the 435 seat House of Representatives and 100-member Senate.

"We're not breaking out the champagne bottles yet. It's going to be a long night. But so far, so good."
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evariste
NYT Wishful Thinking: US will turn out Republicans for outlawing online gambling
The New York Times has this laughable piece arguing that the recent ban on online gambling payment processors will cost the Republicans several seats in Congress. It's the same "no one I know voted for Nixon" moment, all over again. "I don't know anybody who doesn't gamble online" is this writer's thesis, I suppose. Pretty funny. Next up from this writer: "I don't know anyone who serves in the military", "I don't know any Christians", and "I don't know any straight people".
LAST week President Bush signed a law that will try to impede online gambling by prohibiting American banks from transferring money to gambling sites. Most Americans probably didn’t notice or care, but it may do significant political damage to the Republicans this fall and long-term damage to Americans’ respect for the law.

So, a month before a major election, the Republicans have allied themselves with a scattering of voters who are upset by online gambling and have outraged the millions who love it. Furthermore, judging from many hours of online chat with Internet poker players, I am willing to bet (if you’ll pardon the expression) that the outraged millions are disproportionately electricians, insurance agents, police officers, mid-level managers, truck drivers, small-business owners — that is, disproportionately Republicans and Reagan Democrats.

In the short term, this law all by itself could add a few more Democratic Congressional seats in the fall elections. We are talking about a lot of people (an estimated 23 million Americans gamble online) who are angry enough to vote on the basis of this one issue, and they blame Republicans.
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evariste
Everybody's Queer
If someone told me in 2000, the year I voted for the Green Party, that the Democratic Party's main electoral strategy would be ostracizing and outing gay men in the year 2006, I would have laughed at you and called you insane. Guess the joke's on me.
Mike Rogers, who calls himself "the nation’s leading gay activist blogger" has just finished a nationally-broadcast interview on the Ed Schultz Radio Show in which he alleges that Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig has engaged in same-sex sexual activity.

Senator Craig’s office flatly rejected the claims. "The Senator says this story is absolutely ridiculous – almost laughable," said press secretary Sid Smith. “It has no basis in fact.”

Rogers said he has talked to three men unknown to each other who all reported in detail their sexual encounters with Craig over the last four years. The men were of legal age, Rogers said. (Audio of Rogers on the Ed Schultz show is available here.)

Rogers says that digging into the private lives of politicians who support anti-gay legislation is legitimate. Because Craig supported and voted for the Defense of Marriage act, it is politically relevant to reveal these claims, Rogers said. In a letter to Craig, he wrote: "What these citizens are not being told is that some of the politicians who want their help are or have staff who are part of the so-called ‘homosexual lifestyle.’"

Rogers reported that he took "trips out west and met with folks in the Senator’s region and in the Pacific Northwest" as part of his research. Rogers said he and his advisors are solid on the sources, but they would remain anonymous. Rogers said he tried to contact the Senator, but never got a response from Craig or his staff.
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zorkmidden
Don Koppeleone
Ted Koppel, in a Spiegel editorial, explains that we should not try to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons; instead, we should ask the mullahs to watch "The Godfather".
What, then, can the United States do to prevent Iran from developing nuclear technology? Little or nothing. Washington should instead bow to the inevitable.

"You insist on having nuclear weapons," we should say. "Go ahead. It's a terrible idea, but we can't stop you. We would, however, like your leaders to view the enclosed DVD of 'The Godfather.' Please pay particular attention to the scene in which Don Corleone makes grudging peace with a man - the head of a rival crime family - who ordered the killing of his oldest son."

In that scene, Don Corleone says, "I forgo my vengeance for my dead son, for the common good. But I have selfish reasons." The welfare of his youngest son, Michael, is on his mind.

"I am a superstitious man," he continues. "And so if some unlucky accident should befall my youngest son, if some police officer should accidentally shoot him, or if he should hang himself in his cell, or if my son is struck by a bolt of lightening, then I will blame some of the people here. That I could never forgive."
I guess Mr Koppel hasn't seen "The Godfather: Part III".
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zorkmidden
Redwatch
Redwatch is a UK site that lists addresses and photographs of anti-fascists and anti-racists alongside the slogan "Remember places, traitors' faces, they'll all pay for their crimes." The site has a section targeting "red journalists", reporters who cover BNP rallies or anti-racist demonstrations, and it encourages members to intimidate and threaten them. I guess fascism and freedom don't mix.
Redwatch was launched in 2001 and takes its name from a Combat 18 newsletter produced in London in the 1990s. For the first few years it was just another online talking shop for hardline racists and fascists, offensive and unpleasant but apparently not dangerous. However, in April 2003, those behind the site signalled that Redwatch meant business. Leeds school teachers Sally Kincaid and Steve Johnson had been involved in local campaigns against the BNP and other far-right groups for years. Then their personal details appeared on Redwatch following a demonstration they had attended in the Pudsey area of the city. A couple of weeks later they suffered a fire-bomb attack at their home, which left their car burned out.
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zorkmidden
When the going gets tough...
Standard damage control: Foley checks into alcohol rehab. Interesting that everytime some celebrity or politician shows their true colours, they're immediately advised to go into rehab.
Former Rep. Mark Foley, under FBI investigation for e-mail exchanges with teenage congressional pages, has checked himself into rehabilitation facility for alcoholism treatment and accepts responsibility for his actions, his attorney acknowledged Monday. The attorney, David Roth, would not identify the facility, but told the Associated Press in West Palm Beach, Fla., that Foley had checked in over the weekend.

"I strongly believe that I am an alcoholic and have accepted the need for immediate treatment for alcoholism and other behavioral problems," Foley said in a statement, Roth told the AP.

Foley, a Republican, abruptly quit Congress on Friday after reports surfaced that he'd sent sexually charged electronic messages to boys working as pages. In the statement, Foley said the "events that led to my resignation have crystalized recognition of my long-standing and significant alcoholism and emotional difficulties."
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zorkmidden
Bush at War and State of Denial
A Portrait of Bush as a Victim of His Own Certitude. That's quite a turn from Woodward's previous book.
In Bob Woodward’s highly anticipated new book, “State of Denial,” President Bush emerges as a passive, impatient, sophomoric and intellectually incurious leader, presiding over a grossly dysfunctional war cabinet and given to an almost religious certainty that makes him disinclined to rethink or re-evaluate decisions he has made about the war. It’s a portrait that stands in stark contrast to the laudatory one Mr. Woodward drew in “Bush at War,” his 2002 book, which depicted the president — in terms that the White House press office itself has purveyed — as a judicious, resolute leader, blessed with the “vision thing” his father was accused of lacking and firmly in control of the ship of state.

As this new book’s title indicates, Mr. Woodward now sees Mr. Bush as a president who lives in a state of willful denial about the worsening situation in Iraq, a president who insists he won’t withdraw troops, even “if Laura and Barney are the only ones who support me.” (Barney is Mr. Bush’s Scottish terrier.) Mr. Woodward draws an equally scathing portrait of Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, who comes off as a bully and control freak who is reluctant to assume responsibility for his department’s failures, and who has surrounded himself with yes men and created a system that bleached out “strong, forceful military advice.” Mr. Rumsfeld remains wedded to his plan to conduct the war in Iraq with a lighter, faster force (reflecting his idée fixe of “transforming” the military), even as the situation there continues to deteriorate.

Mr. Woodward reports that after the 2004 election Andrew H. Card Jr., then White House chief of staff, pressed for Mr. Rumsfeld’s ouster (he recommended former Secretary of State James A. Baker III as a replacement), and that Laura Bush shared his concern, worrying that Mr. Rumsfeld was hurting her husband’s reputation. Vice President Dick Cheney, however, persuaded Mr. Bush to stay the course with Mr. Cheney’s old friend Mr. Rumsfeld, arguing that any change might be perceived as an expression of doubt and hesitation on the war. Other members of the administration also come off poorly. Gen. Richard B. Myers is depicted as a weak chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who routinely capitulated to the will of Mr. Rumsfeld and who rarely offered an independent opinion. Former C.I.A. director George J. Tenet is described as believing that the war against Iraq was a terrible mistake, but never expressing his feelings to the president. And Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who appears in this volume primarily in her former role as national security adviser) is depicted as a presidential enabler, ineffectual at her job of coordinating interagency strategy and planning.
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evariste
Senate Passes Border Fence Bill
You know what would really impress me? It would really impress me if the Senate didn't spend two years doing nothing, and then burst into action 5 minutes before the election. Thanks for this, I guess. We get a fence covering 1/3rd of the border with Mexico. Not bad, for a start.
WASHINGTON - Leaving President Bush's proposed immigration overhaul in disarray, Republicans on Friday won congressional approval for fencing nearly one-third of the Southwest border and prepared to head into the November elections with a tough border security message.

Rushing to finish work before leaving on a six-week campaign recess, the Senate passed, by a vote of 80-19, and sent to President Bush a bill for more than 700 miles of fencing. The House approved the bill in mid-September.

The legislation - which Bush has agreed to sign - was denounced by critics as little more than a symbolic gesture by Republicans to appeal for votes in their re-election campaigns. But GOP supporters hailed the fence as the cornerstone of a legislative offensive to plug the porous 2,000-mile border with Mexico.

"It's important that we demonstrate to the American people that we are serious about securing our border," said Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., "and it can't be done without the fence."

The proposed construction of the five-section fence - along with roads and vehicle barriers - has threatened to tarnish diplomatic relations with Mexico and has prompted resolutions of opposition from several U.S. towns along the border. Outgoing Mexican President Vicente Fox has condemned it as "shameful."

The largest section of fencing would reach 361 miles from Calexico, Calif., to Douglas, Ariz. Three sections would be in Texas - a 51-mile stretch from Del Rio to Eagle Pass; 176 miles from Laredo to Brownsville and 88 miles stretching westward to Columbus, N.M.

A 22-mile section would be built near San Diego, Calif.
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evariste
Senate passes interrogation, military trials for Al Qaeda
WASHINGTON - The Senate on Thursday endorsed
President Bush's plans to prosecute and interrogate terror suspects, all but sealing congressional approval for legislation that Republicans intend to use on the campaign trail to assert their toughness on terrorism.

The 65-34 vote means the bill could reach the president's desk by week's end. The House passed nearly identical legislation on Wednesday and was expected to approve the Senate bill on Friday, sending it on to the White House.

The bill would create military commissions to prosecute terrorism suspects. It also would prohibit some of the worst abuses of detainees like mutilation and rape, but grant the president leeway to decide which other interrogation techniques are permissible.
It leaves the status quo essentially in place, while satisfying the Supreme Court and taking an issue ("illegal courts! torture!") away from the Democrats, just in time for the election. Good stuff. Pity some "maverick" Republicans can't stop grandstanding as shamelessly as the worst of the Democrats, 24/7, in love with their own pomposity and buffoonery.
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evariste
Cutting Off The ACLU's Oxygen Supply
The American Civil Liberties Union and Westboro Baptist Church have a little something in common. They're both full of lawyers, and they both support themselves by filing baseless nuisance lawsuits.

As a matter of fact, the ACLU has a nasty little habit of filing lawsuits on Phelps's behalf. I guess they recognize a kindred spirit and empathize.

That's one of many reasons why I'm so thrilled with the House of Representatives today. They're cutting off the ACLU's ability to sue the government and charge it millions of your dollars for the privilege of being sued. Simply splendid. Let's hope it doesn't die in the Senate.

The ACLU is by no means a disinterested and apolitical body. They have a very specific, hardcore left-wing agenda, one that should not be taxpayer-financed. If they feel so strongly about something that they want to file a lawsuit about it, they should pay the legal fees themselves. We don't need to foster a government-supported parasitic lawyer class in this country.
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evariste
Bush reaches deal with McCain over tribunals
Think the wave of revulsion that swept the Republican ranks had an effect on McCain? This is win-win: he gets a face-saving compromise, and Bush gets his military tribunals.

Still won't consider voting for McCain-ever.

Breaking: McCain Reaches Agreement With Bush On Military Tribunals
NBC News reports that President Bush and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) have reached a deal on military tribunals. Details of the compromise have yet to be released, but according to news accounts, “the White House has dropped its insistence on redefining the obligations of the United States under the Geneva Conventions.”

No word yet on whether Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) has also agreed to the compromise. Specter earlier took issue with the McCain, Warner, and Graham position:

I disagree with Senator McCain, Graham and Warner and the president trying to eliminate habeas corpus, that is judicial review, because we have so many complicated matters. When you come to the Geneva Convention, we have to follow the Geneva Convention.


More details to follow.
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evariste
House requires Photo ID to vote-about time.
The House just voted to require photo IDs of voters. Why is this controversial?
WASHINGTON — The House voted Wednesday to require Americans to show proof of citizenship in order to vote, and the Senate moved to build a 700-mile fence along the Mexican border as Republicans sharpened attacks on illegal immigration before the midterm elections.

The 228-196 House vote on a new photo ID plan and the Senate's consideration of the fence were both part of a get-tough policy on illegal immigrants that Republicans have embraced after Congress' failure to agree on broader legislation that would set a path for undocumented workers to attain citizenship.

House GOP leaders have insisted that tighter borders and tougher laws must precede more comprehensive immigration changes. The House passed the fence bill last week and plans votes Thursday on other enforcement measures: to increase penalties for people building tunnels under the border, make it easier to detain and deport immigrant gang members and criminals and clarify the ability of state and local authorities to detain illegal immigrants.

Republican sponsors of the voter identification bill said it was a commonsense way to stop fraud at the polls. People need photo IDs to board planes, buy alcohol or cash checks, said Rep. Vernon Ehlers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Administration Committee. "This is not a new concept."
Democrats, of course, are against it-on the grounds that no true American would vote for a Democrat, therefore it's unfair.
But Democrats assailed the legislation, saying it could hurt minorities, the poor and the elderly — groups that tend to vote Democratic — who might have trouble producing a photo identification.

"This bill is tantamount to a 21st century poll tax," said Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md. "It will disenfranchise large number of legal voters."

Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., said he was initially denied a voter ID required under a Missouri state law because he doesn't have a driver's license and couldn't immediately produce a passport or birth certificate. His congressional ID card was not accepted.

A Missouri court earlier this month struck down the state law, and on Tuesday a state superior court judge in Georgia ruled that that state's law requiring a photo ID was an unconstitutional condition for voting.

The bill would require everyone to present a photo ID before voting in federal elections by 2008. By 2010 voters would have to have photo IDs that certified they were citizens. In response to criticism that this would be a burden for the poor, the bill stipulates that states must provide the identification cards free of charge to those who can't afford them.
How does Ike Skelton react when he's IDed to buy a beer? Does his mommy have to tie his shoes for him when he gets up in the morning? Sheesh! Do they really think people are stupid enough to buy this bullhockey?
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zorkmidden
It's not terror, it's this thing
According to Bill Clinton, "Republicans should be very careful in trying to play politics with this London airport thing, because they're going to have a hard time with the facts". He can't even say "terrorist attack", he criticizes Republicans because they "seem to be anxious to tie it to Al-Qaeda", and he wants to challenge the administration on national security. Makes sense to me. I should get a "What Would Clinton Do" bracelet.
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evariste
The Lanky Bozo Speaks
Senator Do-Little has a few words to say to George W Bush, who is apparently not leader-ey enough for his tastes.
U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D- Mass., who was in town Sunday to help Gov. Jennifer Granholm campaign for her re-election bid, took time to take a jab at the Bush administration for its lack of leadership in the Israeli-Lebanon conflict.

"If I was president, this wouldn't have happened," said Kerry during a noon stop at Honest John's bar and grill in Detroit's Cass Corridor.
Honest John's bar and grill...gimme a friggin' break. Oh, and he's psychic, too.
Bush has been so concentrated on the war in Iraq that other Middle East tension arose as a result, he said.

"The president has been so absent on diplomacy when it comes to issues affecting the Middle East," Kerry said. "We're going to have a lot of ground to make up (in 2008) because of it."
Kerry's hindsight is always 20/20.
Hezbollah guerillas should have been targeted with other terrorist organizations, such as al-Qaida and the Taliban, which operate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Kerry said. However, Bush, has focused military strength on Iraq.

"This is about American security and Bush has failed. He has made it so much worse because of his lack of reality in going into Iraq.…We have to destroy Hezbollah," he said.
Was JOHN KERRY talking about Hezbollah in 2004? Or...ever?
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evariste
Murtha's Murky 'Murrican Past
I've been belatedly reading about John Murtha's sleazy past, with his undeserved Purple Hearts and his shameless venality*, and it occurs to me that we need a Truth in Labeling Act for politicians. I propose that anyone seeking public office who has ever served in the military should have to sign the DD-214 release form along with all his other campaign paperwork, making his military records available to anyone who asks. Not just hand-picked friendly reporters but anyone at all, any member of the public who is curious.

It would do a whole lot more good than most of John McCain's combined-arms assault on the First Amendment! How much trouble and grief would our unfortunate nation have been spared if transparent frauds like John Murtha and John Kerry had been detected a lot earlier? The public is willing to believe the best of our veterans; unfortunately, it seems that trust is being abused by sleazy politicians with grasping ambitions. We shouldn't have to put up with this bullhockey any more. The time for a Truth in War Hero Labeling Act is now.

*That means he's for sale to the highest bidder, son.
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evariste
SF Chron & LA Times Love A Republican...As Long As He Hates Israel and Jews
Finally, a Republican formula for being popular in the liberal media! All you have to do is hate Jews.
One Advantage of the Republican Party, 1982: Why, it "is not in the hands of the Jewish lobby in America." The Democratic Party, on the other hand, "must look quite often to Jewish money to finance candidates." And Israel, of course, "has become very much like adolf Hitler's Germany." That's Rep. Pete McCloskey, in an interview with Spotlight magazine (published by the Liberty Lobby), Oct. 11, 1982, at 14:
The Republican Party is not in the hands of the Jewish lobby in America as the Democratic Party must look quite often to Jewish money to finance candidates. If you look at "Scoop" Jackson, and Alan Cranston, and Teddy Kennedy -- any Democratic candidate for national office has more or less go to look to Jewish money, Republicans don't -- they are more business-oriented....

The battle [over Reagan's peace plan for the Mideast] will be for public opinion in the United States, whether the Congress will be willing to back Reagan and stand up to the Jewish lobby in this country. Congress has invariably knuckled under to the Israeli lobby in the past, and for Reagan's plan to succeed, Congress is going to have to be willing to cut off aid to the Israelis if they continue the West Bank settlements....
That's the same man who has referred to the "so-called Holocaust," in a speech before the Holocaust revisionists at the Institute for Historical Review. That's the same man who called Yasser Arafat a "man of peace" in the same exchange in which he harshly condemned Menachem Begin, Ariel Sharon, and Yitzhok Shamir.

It's also the same man who's running in the Republican primary for a House of Representatives seat, and who has been endorsed by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times. The Times tells us he's "the best thing that could happen for the district, the state, the nation and possibly the Republican Party."
A ringing endorsement from the long-time publishers of Robert Scheer. And a thimbleful of cognac goes to Meshuganah Max for this story.
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zorkmidden
Jew-hating Bottom is more like it
Gregg Rickman, the new U.S. anti-Semitism ambassador, has a big job ahead not only monitoring and combating antisemitism world-wide, but combating it at home as well. The Lantos bill, which requires the U.S. government to monitor and report on antisemitism, was opposed from State Department officials who claimed the legislation would show “favoritism” to Jews by “extending exclusive status to one religious or ethnic group.” God forbid we should show "favoritism" to a group of people that have been fair game for every homicidal maniac in history.
Once the State Department backed down, the Lantos bill was adopted unanimously by Congress and signed into law by President Bush. That was in October 2004. Why it took more than 18 months to appoint the envoy is unclear. In any event, as the law requires, the State Department last year issued its first-ever report on anti-Semitism. It was a mixed bag, and it illustrates the challenges that Ambassador Rickman will face.

In one respect, the report was a major step forward. It presented the first official U.S. government definition of anti-Semitism, and, significantly, it stated that “the demonization of Israel or vilification of Israeli leaders, sometimes through comparisons with Nazi leaders, and through the use of Nazi symbols to caricature them, indicates an anti-Semitic bias rather than a valid criticism of policy concerning a controversial issue.”

Equally important was that the report specifically included instances of Holocaust denial in various countries as examples of anti-Semitism. There was no pretending that denying the Holocaust is just another interpretation of history.

But at the same time, the State Department’s report exhibited the kind of bias for which Foggy Bottom has earned a reputation over the years — by minimizing the anti-Semitism sponsored by some Arab regimes.

For example, the report’s section on Saudi Arabia, a major promoter of anti-Semitism, was just 182 words long. By contrast, Iceland was given 387 words, even though the report cited only one instance of anti-Semitic harassment and one hostile cartoon there. Only 86 words were devoted to the Palestinian Authority, despite the frequency of anti-Semitism in its newspapers and on its television and radio programs. Armenia (194 words), Brazil (149), and Azerbaijan (142), where there is no evidence of government-sponsored anti-Semitism, were given more space in the report than the Palestinian Authority.
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evariste
Meet the next John Kerry: Jesse MacBeth
Jesse MacBeth was–by his own admission–a common psychopathic street thug, and habitué of the court system, who was tried as an adult for a crime committed as a juvenile.

Gee, I wonder what he might have done!

He was offered the opportunity, by a too-kind judge, to go into service as an alternative to serving hard time behind bars. He then somehow got sent home from real war, as opposed the private war he was waging on civil society, and decided to repay the kindness done to him by spitting in the country's face. "I used to love this country...blah blah blah". Does anyone believe his bullshit? He's a sociopathic, manipulative liar!

By the way, one of young Jesse's ambitions is armed revolution against the government of the United States. It's right here at the end of his interview with the Socialist Alternative:

When I was growing up, everyone thought I'd be a criminal, but they were wrong. I'm gonna be one of the leaders of the revolution.


Actually, they were wrong. You're worse than a garden-variety criminal-you're a seditionist and a traitor.

Jesse MacBeth's traitorous, lying video for Iraq Veterans Against The War (IVAW, as in Kerry's Vietnam Veterans Against The War, geddit?) is now circulating among credulous left-wingers who have no idea what a real soldier looks like. Alternate link.

ALLAH has tons more.
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evariste
Bush Guard-to-Border move is a stunt: Frum
David Frum nails the true essence of Bush's move to guard the border with troops from the National Guard: it's a publicity stunt, not an honest effort. He goes on to speculate convincingly that Bush might prefer a Democratic Congress so he can actually have a domestic legacy. In other words, Bush wouldn't mind if his party lost the upcoming elections.
When the Bush administration fitfully attempts to enforce the immigration laws, it looks for measures that meet four criteria:

They must be 1) spectacular; 2) expensive; 3) unsustainable; and 4) ineffective.

The proposal to deploy the National Guard to the border meets all four!

This plan won't work, and it is not seriously meant to work. It's supposed to look dramatic and buy the president some respite from negative polls - and then it is supposed to fail, strengthening the administration's case for its truly preferred approach: amnesty guestworkers.

If there is one truth about immigration that should have been learned since the last amnesty it is: The immigration laws cannot be enforced at the border. They have to be enforced in the interior space of the country. Create an accessible, reliable system for employers to confirm the legal status of their employees; require employers to use it; check compliance; and punish cheaters - that's what you have to do to enforce the law. If don't do that, you can send the National Guard to occupy Mexico City or dig a moat along the Rio Grande and fill it with man-eating alligators, and it won't matter: Your enforcement will fail

Putting the Guard on the border is a symbolic act. If that action symbolized a genuine new commitment to enforce the law, then it would be a good and valuable thing to do. But I am afraid that in this case, the symbolism is manipulative and deceptive.

The administration has no intention of enforcing the law. It believes that law enforcement is futile and counter-productive. That's the president's sincere, conscientious view, and he is of course entitled to it. When he argues for it openly and candidly, as he has done in the past, one can disagree - but one has to respect his conviction and courage.
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